Mississippi Round UP

September 11, 2019 in News

The Associated Press,

Officials: Man used fully automatic guns to wound deputies

A Mississippi man is accused of possessing two fully automatic weapons in a shootout that wounded two deputies last week.

Madison County District Attorney John Bramlett said Edgar Egbert used a “fully automatic weapon” resulting in a “barrage of gunfire” Thursday. Sheriff’s spokesman Heath Hall confirmed the guns were “full” automatic.

The Clarion Ledger reports state and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officials say the use of such weapons in the commission of a crime is extremely unusual.

Illegally possessing or using a fully automatic gun carries stiff federal penalties under The National Firearms Act. The state Bureau of Investigation is investigating.

Egbert is jailed for now on charges including kidnapping and attempted murder of law enforcement.

Driver dies and 8 children are injured as school bus crashes

Wrecker crews inspect the damage to a Benton County School bus that was involved in wreck along U.S. Highway 72 near Walnut, Miss., Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, that resulted in the death of the driver and sent several students to the hospital. Thomas Wells/The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal via AP

Wrecker crews inspect the damage to a Benton County School bus that was involved in wreck along U.S. Highway 72 near Walnut, Miss., Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, that resulted in the death of the driver and sent several students to the hospital. Thomas Wells/The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal via AP

A school bus driver is dead and eight children have injuries after a school bus rolled over in northern Mississippi.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol tells news outlets that the bus driver died in the Tuesday morning incident, with the bus ending up on its side in a ditch.

Officials tell WMC-TV that the 63-year-old driver, Chester Cole, likely suffered a medical emergency. Benton County Coroner Larry Hobson said Cole appeared to clutch his chest and slumped over in his seat before the crash.

Eight injured children were taken to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. The hospital said four are in serious condition and four others are being released Tuesday.

Troopers say no other vehicles were involved in the wreck on U.S. Highway 72 west of Walnut.

Mississippi man gets 11 years for his part in cross burning

A white Mississippi man received an 11-year prison sentence Tuesday for his part in burning a cross near the home of an African-American family.

Louie Bernard Revette, 38, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett in Hattiesburg, the Justice Department said.

Revette pleaded guilty in April to one count each of interference with housing rights, which is a federal civil rights violation, and of using fire during the commission of a federal felony.

Revette acknowledged recruiting someone to help him build a cross to burn near the home of a teenager in a predominantly black area of Seminary Oct. 24, 2017. He also acknowledged building the cross to threaten, frighten and intimidate people because of their race.

Revette expressed remorse at his sentencing hearing, the Hattiesburg American reported.

“I want everyone to know I’m not proud of what happened,” Revette said. “I hate what I did. I can’t even believe I did that. I never done anything like that before in my life.”

Seminary is a town of about 300 residents, located about 70 miles (115 kilometers) south of Jackson.

Revette’s accomplice, Graham Williamson, pleaded guilty to the same two charges in August and is scheduled to be sentenced in November.

None of the victim’s relatives were in court Tuesday, but the newspaper reported that the victim’s grandmother, Rose Marie Shears, told the U.S. attorney’s office that the cross burning revived fear and terror of the past. She told prosecutors that she is afraid that Revette and Williamson or others will return and harm the family.

Cross burnings have historically been used by racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan to rally supporters and terrorize black people in the South and elsewhere.

“Those who instill fear and terror into our neighbors and our fellow citizens because of the color of their skin will face the full weight and force of the law from the U.S. attorney’s office,” Mike Hurst, U.S. Attorney for south Mississippi, said in a Justice Department statement Tuesday. “There is absolutely no place in our society or our country for this type of behavior, and we will do all that we can to prevent these racist acts and bring to justice those who are intent on committing these crimes.”

In 2017, a man pleaded guilty to federal charges after prosecutors said he and three other men burned a cross more than 6 feet (1.8 meters) high in the front yard of an interracial couple’s home in Port Richey, Florida, in 2012.

Other cross burnings in the past decade have occurred in Richmond Hill, Georgia; Minor Hill, Tennessee; Woodland, Pennsylvania; Salado, Arkansas; and Bennington Township, Ohio, among other places, according to Justice Department records.

Eric Dreiband, an assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division, said in the statement Tuesday that Revette “terrorized members of a community simply because of their race and where they lived.”

“The Department of Justice will not tolerate these acts of hate, and we will continue to prosecute hate crimes like these to the fullest extent of the law,” Dreiband said.